Life Transitions

Life Transitions


Changes in your life can end up being difficult, depending on how large-scale they are. Maybe you’re graduating high school and heading off to college, maybe you’re getting married, or maybe you’re accepting a job in a foreign country and have to move quickly. How smoothly or roughly they go depends on how you deal with them.

No matter how big or small the transition is at its core, you have to be calm about it. Many people like change, and if you’re one of those people, you might step back and look at your life, thinking “I really don’t want this. Why can’t things just stay the same?” But change can be good. If you’re moving on in life after getting away from an abusive spouse, for instance, you’ll only be hurting yourself if you think try to go back to him or her. If you’re graduating from high school or college, you don’t need to think about what you want to do next right away, but simply sitting there and not doing anything because you can’t stand the thought of change isn’t going to help things in the long run.

Challenges of Life Transitions

Every life transition can present challenges and difficulties, some more than others. Some life transitions are automatic, but some are not. As long as you’ve been keeping up with your school work, you’re going to graduate from high school or college. But if you have an abusive spouse, it can seem harder to get away from that. Because some transitions are things you need to initiate yourself, they can seem hard or even out of reach.

A lack of motivation can run rampant in these kinds of cases. You might know exactly what you need to do in order to transition into the place in life you want to be, but it just seems easier to stay where you are, even if it’s harmful to you. On the other hand, it can seem hard if you don’t have any support. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you might think that you will have none. Breaking away from someone like an abusive spouse or a friend you’ve known for years can be difficult because you think in the back of your mind, “Everyone loves them. No one will want to help me get away from them, because they don’t know what’s been going on, and they probably won’t believe me.” In these cases, you end up stagnating, even if you really want to make that transition.

How Transitions Affect Relationships

This all depends on what kind of transition you’re going through. Long distance relationships are often based on transition, because you’ve moved away from where you used to live, yet you still want to be in a relationship with that person. In that case, your relationship changes; instead of being able to see the person face-to-face whenever you want, you’ll end up calling them a lot, or video chatting on Skype, and sending each other gifts through the mail instead of being able to give it to the person and see their reaction.

Some life transitions require completely ending relationships; not just abusive relationships, but in general. If you’ve been with someone for years, but one day you decide that it just isn’t there anymore and you and your partner end the relationship, it can feel like there’s a hole in your life. You spent so much time centering your life and actions on that person, and now you’re free. In this case, you have more time to spend with friends and family, but it does take some getting used to.

How Therapy Can Help

Getting used to life transitions is all about figuring out how to do it, and where you want to go once you’re in that new place in your life. If you’re confused about either of those things, then spending time with a therapist can be to your benefit. If the life transition is away from any kind of abusive situation, then you’re probably suffering from some problems other than just dealing with that transition; you probably don’t know what to do with yourself now that you’re out of that situation. If the abusive person or people made sure that you were dependent on them, you might not have the resources to make it on your own, in which case your counselor can help you figure out what you can do and who you can turn to.

For those who are graduating school, or are trying to move into a new career, simply being able to talk about your worries can help you a lot. There’s no guarantee that something is going to work as well as you hope, and being able to talk through things and lay out a plan for the future can put your mind at ease.

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